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Friday, August 31, 2012

Smallville: Season 11 #15 - "Detective"


ROLL CALL:

SUPERMAN! THE BATMAN! LEX LUTHOR! BARBARA GORDON! THE TOYMAN! BRUNO MANHEIM! DAN TURPIN! OTIS!
With shout outs to:
LIONEL LUTHOR OF EARTH 2! TESS MERCER! GLORIOUS GODFREY! THE JOKER! THE PENGUIN! KILLER CROC! TED KORD! MICHAEL HOLT! THOMAS WAYNE! VIRGIL SWANN! VERITAS!

That's a hell of a roll call, a veritable jamboree of the DC Universe and the Smallville universe.

This week we pick up right where we left off with Superman rounding up the teleportation thieves who apologize to the children for kidnapping them, hitching their school bus up on a crane, and then trying to blow them up with a bomb. Presumably, Superman took care of the bomb in between issues. As Superman politely soars off with one of the teleportation vests, Dan Turpin meets a certain billionaire playboy visiting Metropolis.

Bruce Wayne, n'est-ce pas? (Most of the time.) Yep, Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon are both in Metropolis and they get to see Superman in action first hand. Barbara is more impressed than Bruce is, or more impressed than Bruce is letting on. Since this episode is titled "Detective", Bruce lives up to its name and lets loose those World's Greatest Detective skills to determine vital information about the Man of Steel and his sexual preferences:


There, is all that settled? Superman bats for the hetero side and he's got a female honey at home. Ah, the science of deduction. Bruce Wayne is in fact the Wayne Enterprises representative Lex Luthor is meeting with today, and he's keen on getting the meeting over with and getting out of Metropolis post-haste. Bruce: "Metropolis is... unnerving." Barbara pokes fun at him for Metropolis' lack of killer clowns "with guns in their mouths" and alligator men in the sewers chasing penguins... that are trained to kill. Yeah, I'd miss home too if I were Bruce. Mr. Wayne explains to his youthful ward or whatever Barbara Gordon is to him that he's dilly-dallying to be late on purpose to meet with Luthor to keep up appearances as an irresponsible billionaire playboy. So one day, when Barbara also has to pose as an irresponsible billionaire playboy, she knows the moves.

Later, at the Ace of Clubs, Lex and Bruce have their lunch meeting on the patio while a far more interesting lunch date goes on not far away - Barbara Gordon is having lunch with Otis! I mean, sure, Bruce and Lex are discussing why billionaires have the right to order off menu and Wayne Enterprises building a Super Collider in Antarctica (there goes Bruce Wayne looking for renewable energy sources again), but Barbara Gordon and Otis -- I don't think those two have ever interacted before. Barbara tells Otis that Michael Holt (terrific!) and Ted Kord have joined in on the Wayne Super Collider project. (What about Miranda Tate?) Otis wonders aloud what it's like to work for a different rich guy. Barbara says they're all the same. I dunno, you two, I think working for Tony Stark would be a hell of a lot more fun.

Lex passes on participating, after all - Super Collider? Lex doesn't even know her! Lex cites that he's still rebuilding Lexcorp from the damage Tess Mercer and Lionel Luthor-2 did when they ran the company. Bruce makes no bones about him being real cool with not getting in business bed with Lex Luthor. Then, some revelations: Thomas Wayne opted out of joining the Veritas group Lionel Luthor founded to find the Traveler. Just as well, Thomas Wayne didn't live too long anyway. Lex and Bruce's lunch is prematurely ended by something you don't see every day:


Later, at Lexcorp R&D, Superman and Lex are all forced friendly-like as Lex analyzes the teleportation vest and admits the technology is his, but it was stolen. Stolen, in fact, during a series of robberies made on Lexcorp and other companies, one of which was foiled way back in issue 3 by the Green Arrow and Superman himself. Big ups to Bryan Q. Miller tying this whole episodic saga together. Lex surmises that whomever created these teleportation vests using all that stolen technology would have to be very familiar with Lexcorp's patents and proprietary coding. Which leads Superman to...

Stryker's Island prison and Winslow Schlott - The Toyman. Safely incarcerated and seemingly not a suspect, according to Warden (not Don) Draper. Superman is stymied. Meanwhile, imprisoned elsewhere at Stryker's is Bruno Manheim, the head of Intergang, who's acting like a raving lunatic while palming the Crime Bible, which he says was given to him by G. Gordon (Glorious) Godfrey. Whoa man, there is a lot of DC Universe stuff going on here. Next thing we know, Manheim has escaped his cell! Well, not so much escaped as being interrogated by...

The Batman! The Batman has Manheim and he only wants to know one thing: "WHERE'S THE DETONAT --" I mean, "WHERE'S JOE CHILL!" Manheim claims he's gone straight, that the Crime Bible changed his life, and a lot of nonsense, but the Batman's having none of that. JUST TELL HIM WHERE THE GUY WHO KILLED HIS MOMMY AND DADDY IS! (Okay, Batman didn't say that. Also, why is Batman breaking into a maximum security prison? Surely a detective of his caliber who determined that Superman is straight has other means to find Joe Chill.)  Next thing we know, Superman arrives on the scene.

Superman... meet Batman. Superman would like to have a word. Instead, he gets Batman manifesting some sort of energy and then punching the shit out of the Man of Steel!

Can't we all just get along?

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